Italy's Alessandro Zanni scores a try despite the attentions of Scotland's David Denton and Greig Laidlaw in their Six Nations match at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Scotland played with aggression, discipline and attacking
ambition to beat Italy 34-10 in the Six Nations, their first
win in this year's championship.
Tries from Tim Visser, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Sean
Lamont as well as 14 points from the boot of man-of-the-match
Greig Laidlaw helped Scotland overwhelm an Italy team who
came into the match full of confidence after beating France
In a match often billed as the wooden spoon decider,
Scotland, who were soundly beaten 38-18 by England on the
opening weekend, were superior in all areas and capitalised
on a string of Italian errors.
It was their first victory at Murrayfield after five
successive defeats and quashed Italian hopes of building on
last week's impressive display against the pre-championship
"We had opportunities and we scored off them which was a
great sign of things to come from this team. But in two weeks
time we are going to have to do it again," interim coach
Scott Johnson said on the BBC.
"I just want to congratulate them because they put in a hard
week. We will enjoy the night, that's why we play the sport,
when we reassemble on Tuesday we will be all on for Ireland."
The Italians enjoyed the early territorial advantage, but
this began to seep away as the errors crept in and they fell
behind after 15 minutes when a Laidlaw penalty from 30 metres
soared between the posts.
That lead was doubled nine minutes later when Andrea Lo
Cicero, winning his 100th cap, was penalised for pulling down
the maul and Laidlaw stepped up to notch another three
Scotland began to showcase their attacking fluency with Scott
prevented from going over after a high-speed dash down the
left flank thanks to a superb last-ditch tackle from Tobias
A minute later, however, Dutch-born winger Visser jinked past
two Italian defenders before going over for his fifth try in
Luciano Orquera, who had endured a miserable first half, in
stark contrast to his match-wining display last weekend, made
Italy's first mark on the scoreboard with a penalty a minute
before the break.
If the Italians hoped that would give them a platform to
build off they were swiftly brought down to earth after the
restart as Scotland extended their lead with two quick tries.
Scott took a lovely offload from Sean Maitland to cross
before Hogg intercepted a pass from the forlorn Orquera to
gallop 80 metres for his second try in consecutive matches.
Laidlaw added the conversions to put the hosts 27-3 up after
only eight minutes of the second half.
After Scott had a second try ruled out for a forward pass,
Lamont added the final gloss to the scoreline when he picked
up a loose ball and ran 50 metres for another excellent
Italy's Alessandro Zanni bundled the ball over late on for a
consolation try but it came too late to spark a revival or
dampen Scottish celebrations.
"I was fortunate to pick up man of the match but that was
because everyone of the forwards did their job. I had an easy
ride today, I really enjoyed the game," Laidlaw said.
"We're not getting carried away, we've had wins before, we
need to go away and understand why we won and take it from
Scotland next face Ireland at Murrayfield on February 24, a
day after Italy host Wales.